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Session: World in Flames:: Game report #10 : France thrashed, China cuffed

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 19:18:16 +0000

by nailsworthnobby Previously : Rhineland reoccupied, Ethiopia conquered, Japan invades China, Anschluss, Russian purges, Spanish Civil War starts and stalemates, CW and France establish new Entente Cordiale, Persia conquered, Germany and Italy sign a second pact, Czechoslovakia sacrificed, Bessarabia seized, Finland attacked, USA wakes up.May/June 1939Unsurprisingly Germany now has the cash, so declares war on Belgium. The excitement is intense, so much so that the rest of politics is a bit of a damp squib (yep – we forgot to write down what everyone else did).The Fascists are last, so the other two factions mark time. And in goes Germany into Belgium, using the minor no-ZOC rule to take out Belgium and Liege in one go. So far so good. Enraged, the CW and France declare war and the Brits land an ARM and MECH into Antwerp. Ground strikes neutralize von Leeb and the French suicide fleet sails into the Baltic and eliminates the German convoys. All looking good for the Allies, but oh no! Although the French have built forts along the Belgium border, they have left the Ardennes border only weakly garrisoned, relying on a river defence. The canny German commander spots this and piles into the gap, led by an ENG Div. A roll of 14 together with the odds and blitz pluses smashes the defenders and the breakthrough cuts off Metz and the Maginot line. Now that’s properly embarrassing (see previous report).The IJA positions for an attack on Kunming but have not yet brought up enough troops. However an attack on the mountains near Chungking fails (2 MIL for 1 DIV) which helps the Chinese cause a little.The French are in disarray. The British ship in Gort to help, and pull back out of Belgium to the channel ports. The French form a revised front covering the approaches to Paris but are short on troops (it’s difficult to find enough boys in 1939 when you also still have to guard against a possible Italian attack). In the largely ignored Finnish side show, Russia continue to grind away at the Finns, rolling poorly again but at least killing another Finn MIL for the loss of two Soviet INF. Theoretically attrition favours the larger army that can actually produce units, but there is a limit to that argument (a limit that our Soviet friend will test to destruction). The IJA continue to defy the odds and assault Kunming on a net +4 against the two defenders. A roll of 15 takes the factory and the Chinese stored oil. Not much you can do about that.The next phase of the Wehrmacht offensive hammers the newly formed French line and kills another 2 defenders, shattering off another, and are now outside Paris after just two impulses. In parallel, the Germans respond to the blatant favoritism of the Danes in letting the French fleet through by declaring war. Another turn of hell for the Democrats, but then the turn ends on a 1 with the Germans poised to complete the destruction. Ranting heard from inside the Reichstag. In further bad news for the German people the bold Atlantis is found off the west coast of Africa and send to the repair pool. Despite the turn ending early, both Denmark and Belgium are incompletely conquered and France is looking down the barrel having dodged the bullet for the moment.Jul/Aug 1939France holds an election which is strange in the circumstances but forced by an earlier option (once at war, Democrats can generally give up the democracy thing but not if they owe an election due to option play). Others play their owed declarations of war while the non-involved garner bid points.The Fascists win initiative but the desperate Democrats demand a reroll and win the rematch. And then both choose combined moves. The communists aren’t consulted and will be last.The RAF and Armee de l’Air do their bit getting a ground strike through at the Germans lurking menacingly outside of Paris and shoot down a Bf109E1. But the French aren’t as good at the dirty work of bombing and miss all their targets by a mile. British troops flood across the channel (2 more INF) and start stocking up on that nasty c[...]

Session: Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal – The Pacific 1942:: Ambush! (AAR - Firefight 4)

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:34:15 +0000

by DELTA2468 I sat down yesterday to give this FF a spin with one of the members of the small local wargame club in an attempt to avenge myself after my defeat a few weeks back in FF2. Like all of the other scenarios I've played from Guadalcanal, this one has some really interesting tension and tough decisions. The Marines are have to decide whether to move fast or slow, weighing safety versus speed. The Japanese get a very free hidden deployment with all of their units and need to decide how to shape their defense and weigh revealing their units versus the Bushido Points (And thus CAPs) they receive by keeping them hidden.The gist is that the American forces are pushing through the jungle towards what they think is a lightly defended village. The board is not too friendly to line of sight or movement, with a lot of jungle to block line of sight and slow troops down (Not to mention provide some of the beefiest Defense Modifiers in the series to date, +3 DM in heavy jungle!). Through the jungle, kunai grass and a palm grove lies the objective in a small village, worth 3 VPs at the end of the game AND tied to Japanese reinforcements (More on that below).The Marines start with four 2nd Raider squads (Same stats as the Marine rifles but in this scenario they get a capability card of the player's choice) plus an Air Support card (6 red DR but can't attack jungle hexes). They also have three Paramarine squads and an MG team arriving as reinforcements on turn 3.Arrayed against his Marines was a hodgepodge of my Japanese units: An infantry squad, a MMG, a Sniper and a 75mm Mtn Gun that all start hidden. Plus from round 2 onwards, if the Japanese player controls the objective at the start of the round, they receive two infantry squads that come in anywhere from the east side of the board. I positioned my MMG in a patch of heavy jungle (J03 I believe) off to the west of the board that gave it decent line of sight on the most open approaches to the village. My sniper and 75mm I positioned in two jungle hexes east of the village that turned out to have pretty bad lines of sight. I debated sticking my infantry next to the MMG but I opted to instead position them as my only unit defending the village itself, hiding them in a hut adjacent to the objective. Round 1: My units hidden, the game began with my opponent moving cautiously forward, grouping his Marines together in a bit of jungle towards the middle of the board that gave him good line of sight. My sniper took a hidden shot a squad its way there but I quickly realized that I didn't have LOS to much else. Having reached the edge of the tree line, the Marines used the air strike to hit one of the huts on the edge of the village to try to flush out any hidden units. The round ends with all of my units hidden. I receive 4 bushido points (1 for each hidden unit), bumping my CAPs to 8.Round 2: The jungle is quiet. The Marines start group moving (Via CAPs) three of the four squads towards the village (One stayed back in the tree line). I wait until they passed the MMG, before opening up on the flank of a squad moving through the open ground. With the help of 2 CAPs and a solid die roll I cut down one of the three advancing squads. The others make it into the village. I start brining in my two reinforcement squads through a clearing to the east, but the American air support scores a hit and forces them to slow down and rally. One of the Marine squads pushes in towards the center of the village, where they stumble on my hidden infantry unit and are in the ensuing close combat. His other squad that hung back tries to cross the open ground to engage my MMG in close combat, but gets pinned right next to it. The pinned unit returns fire, suppressing my MMG. I advance my victorious infantry unit into open ground towards the surviving Marine unit in the village. The round ends with two threatening situations (The MMG/Marine close range firefight and the Marine/Infantry close range firefight). I receive two more Bushido points for my hidden sniper and 75mm gun, b[...]

Session: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island:: Jenny

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:34:08 +0000

by sodapaps Robinson Crusoe’s JournalDay 1 – Friday, August 15, 1651Our voyage ended in tragedy today. A huge storm came up and our ship was swamped. It went down quickly, taking the crew with it. Myself, Xury, and my trusty dog have survived. I don’t know how long we can keep the dog alive. At some point Xury and I will have to eat.Lucky for us—and for the dog—a crate full of food, a hammer, some rusty nails, and, most importantly, some rum washed up on shore. We also met a local. We haven’t been able to communicate very well with him and I still don’t know what his name is. I decided to call him Friday since it’s Friday. He seems nice enough and I hope Xury and I won’t have to eat him, either.There is another bright spot, though this one presents a challenge. Jenny, another member of our crew, has also survived. Beautiful girl. Head full of dark, black hair. Eyes like huge, brown saucers. Unfortunately, she’s still in the ocean, floating on some planks, and the sharks are beginning to circle. The tide is taking her further away from the island, and she looks terrified. Hopefully the sharks don’t eat her.Knowing Jenny won’t last long and seeing Friday’s concern as well—though I may have mistaken his concern for a desire to mate—we devised a plan using a combination of hand gestures and sand drawings. Our plan is to first build a raft and rescue Jenny. Then we will build a lifeboat and leave this island. When Xury asked why not just build the life boat, leave the island, and pick up Jenny on the way, I reminded him that it is not his place to question.We decided to split up, each one of us heading off to explore a different part of the island. Our hope is that we might find everything we need in the next few days to build both the raft and the lifeboat, as well as simply survive.All went well for me. I headed up the mountains to the north. There was a beautiful waterfall and several birds there. I thought if need be, we could spare the dog’s life and try to take some of those birds for food. I did manage to injure my leg while exploring. Slipped on some rocks. I guess I’ll have to watch my footing a little closer.Like me, Friday went by himself. He headed into the hills to the east. I don’t know exactly what happened there, but when he returned this evening he seemed shaken. Perhaps there’s more to this island then I first thought.Xury took the dog with him. He decided to explore the river to the south of us. He reported that there are plenty of fish there. He also found some rope. This is good news for us as it will come in handy when we construct our raft. He also reported that the land is scorched. A fire must have gone through the whole area some time ago. The trees there will be useless to us. Fortunately, there are plenty of other trees on this island.Tonight, we ate our fill and then decided to move our camp. We thought it best to head further into the island so we could continue our exploration tomorrow. We have to find more wood and food, as well as some fur for the lifeboat. If all goes well, Jenny will be safe on shore soon.Goodnight for now. I look forward to sleeping under the stars on this beautiful island.-RobinsonDay 2 – Saturday, August 16, 1651This morning I woke up with some pain in my back. Sleeping on the ground in the open isn’t as appealing as I first thought. I also spotted a growing number of storm clouds in the distance. They drew closer all day, and tonight the stars are completely hidden. Thankfully I had the forethought when I first saw them to ask Friday if he’d build us a shelter. He seems like a handy fellow, and, as I sit here inside its walls, writing in this journal, I think he did a pretty good job. Though, it would have been advantageous if he had added a roof.Before heading out to do some more exploring this morning, Xury and I gathered some wood and food from around the camp. Then, I instructed him to stay in the camp and see if he could build a pot. Food tastes so much better when [...]

Session: A.D. 30:: An alternate history of Jesus

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:33:51 +0000

by russ 1. Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. From that time Jesus began to preach. James the Greater and Bartholomew immediately followed him as apostles.2. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He was sorely tempted, but then the devil left him, and Jesus prayed and prayed and prayed to regain his piety. A Pharisee named Nicodemus then asked Jesus for counsel; Jesus replied "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."3. Jesus rejoined his two apostles James and Bartholomew in Galilee, and while they were walking one day, Jesus was transfigured before them, and there appeared to them Elijah and Moses. Thereafter Jesus performed two miracles.4. They continued on to Bethany, where Jesus healed many sick people; even the touch of his garment healed many. Later Jesus privately prayed and prayed and prayed before briefly visiting Gethsemane.5. After wandering back to Bethany, Jesus taught his teachings to the people again, saying "The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here." Two more men, Peter and Thomas, followed Jesus as his apostles.6. And after six days Jesus returned with James and Bartholomew to the high mountain where he had been transfigured. Here he converted Simon as an apostle and sent Simon to hinder Pilate the governor.7. Later, after wrestling anew with temptation, Jesus found himself in his home town, but when he taught, the people were skeptical and disrespectful. And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. He wandered to Bethany and performed a miracle to a somewhat more receptive audience.8. His fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. In the synagogue of Capernaum, his teaching began to arouse too much attention, and he began to worry about the high priest Caiaphas who wanted to arrest Jesus, and Jesus sent Peter to distract Caiaphas.9. In Bethany Jesus healed some women of evil spirits and infirmities, including Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out. He gained more apostles, who were James the Lesser, John, and Judas.10. Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan, who found a half-dead man as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion. Such teachings caused the local authorities Caiaphas and Herod to become increasingly threatening.11. The teachings continued to move the crowds, even converting a tax collector Zacchaeus. Jesus performed a miracle which deeply shook the governor Pilate and weakened Pilate's resolve to persecute the unusual wandering teacher. Philip joined Jesus as an apostle, and their followers grew.12. During a supper, Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was now irrevocably to betray him), said, "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." When his followers heard of this, they amassed even more, and one of them, Thaddeus, became an apostle.13. When the days drew near for Jesus to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. But Andrew and Matthew joined as apostles.14. The Pharisees debated with Jesus, saying "Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." Jesus reproached their hypocrisy and said[...]

Session: Letters from Whitechapel:: Letters from Japan Game 01:

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:44:36 +0000

by n107 After the first test session, I've been itching to play Letters from Whitechapel again. Sadly, there has been no time to pull the game group together because of work and house duties. However, I've been asking my wife (a non-gamer) to try it out with me. I figure that it is simple in rules but deep in strategy and she might appreciate the fact that there isn't any English to worry about getting tripped up on. Finally, after weeks of suggesting it, she decided to humor me and have a play. Dramatis PersonaeJack the Ripper - (me)Investigators - (The Missus)No need to do fancy color-coding for the police as they are all controlled by one player this time around. Again I played as Jack, being the only one who knows the rules of the game. By means of an RNG app, my hideout was determined. Hideout: Location 99Night One: HellHead of the Investigation: The MissusA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 29Time of the Crime: Space IISince I had never tried waiting to kill before, I decided to give it a shot now to see how it affects game play. I waited just one round and made the kill on the Wretched who was moved from Location 27 to 29. Night One: HuntingI got off to a bad start by misreading the map and had Jack run west to Location 47. I was planning on going south from there until I realized that 47 just leads to a dead end. Not quite ready to waste an Alley token just yet, I backtracked to 46 then 79 before continuing on my southerly escape. It wasn't too long before The Missus picked up my trail around there and found my beeline south as I broke out onto Whitechapel Road at Location 118. The police were already heading in that direction as I wasn't being too sneaky. After getting to 120, I had to circumvent the police and (hopefully) try to place a false lead as they were closing in by ducking down the road to Location 100 before swinging back up around to 99 and declaring my arrival home. The Missus had a general idea of where my trail ended but I hoped it was vague enough to get me through the next few nights.Night Two: HellHead of the Investigation: The MissusA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 146Time of the Crime: Space III chose to wait yet again as it didn't do me much harm the first time around. This time I had a pretty clear shot from 147 so I waited, allowing the Wretched to be moved to 146. Perfect for me as I was heading in that direction to begin with.Night Two: HuntingThe Investigator in the space between Locations 126 and 127 headed down to try to cut me off. So after 145 I took my route north to 104. The Missus had the majority of her police heading towards the middle down the main thoroughfare of Whitechapel Road while the others continued to find the path I took from the crime scene. Eventually clues were picked up on my trail around Locations 70 and 69.I ducked back south from there, circling around 127 to 102 then 86. I finally used an Alley there to 84, trying to lure away the coppers. As I was lucky enough that they cleared the main street, I then easily slipped down to 99 and announced I was home yet again.Night Three: HellHead of the Investigation: The MissusA Corpse on the Sidewalk: Location 138 and 4Time of the Crime: Space II/IFirst time to get to the Third Night and I was worried how it would play out. The Missus was pretty sure she knew where my hideout was located and had kept most of her police near the center. I decided to wait again, hoping to buy more time but after I did so, I realized that all of my Wretched Tokens were moved within the movement range of a Patrol Token!Oops! I checked one and it was an Investigator. I had to hope that at least one of the other two were decoys and said decoy would be the one closest to my second kill. As the Patrol Tokens were replaced, I realized in horror that both of the tokens nearest to my (relocated) crime scenes were Police. Night Three: HuntingAt first my wife was about to start searching for clues, but I remin[...]

Session: Triumph & Tragedy:: West Ascends

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:43:18 +0000

by ASelby

Our first 1936 game of T&T 2ed, which we managed to play in one (long) evening.

Cautious start by all with lots of Diplomacy by Axis and USSR and lots of Factory building by the WA. WA got USA as Satellite 1st turn and USSR got Rumania, and a Protectorate on Yugoslavia so Axis was a bit boxed in. Axis take Low countries and Denmark.

1940 the shooting war starts proper, Axis takes Ukraine, but then alarmed by the WA build up, Axis and USSR call a temporary truce and swap Rumania for Odessa.
1941 after WA foolishly attack Spain, Paris is immediately attacked. Paris manages to cling on for the year but the following year thanks to an early Spring card and Rocket Artillery Axis triumphs. Gibraltar also falls to the German/Spanish troops and a Med Blockade is in place, its looking bad for WA. USSR has taken Persia, but faces considerable force in India, and then makes a play for Turkey, which also ends in disaster after the Axis intervene.
WA are regrouping after their mauling in France, but with the help of USA, land in North Africa and Norway. USSR attacks all along the East Front and Axis are in a difficult position. The game see-saws until 1945 when its very close, WA are behind on Pop but launch a sneaky attack through Spain and Marseille to squeak a win 18 points, USSR 17 and Axis 16 including Peace dividends of 2 each.

A huge amount of fun, the game balanced itself nicely throughout, showed how difficult it is to rebuild after mayor battles and to regain footholds in areas once you loose the land borders. I think Spain and Turkey will be treated with a lot more respect in future games!

Session: World in Flames:: Game report #9 : Japan rolls well, Russia doesn't

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:21:33 +0000

by nailsworthnobby Previously : Rhineland reoccupied, Ethiopia conquered, Japan invades China, Anschluss, Russian purges, Spanish Civil War starts and stalemates, CW and France establish new Entente Cordiale, Persia conquered, Germany and Italy sign a second pact, Czechoslovakia sacrificed, Bessarabia seized, Finland attacked, USA wakes up.Nov / Dec 1938Politics dull as most people are keeping their powder dry for gear ups in 39, but France does guarantee Belgium. Weather is Fine everywhere. The Russians Finnish adventure carries on with the airforce doing a sterling job with two ground strikes and (the first of the war) successful air combat against the Finns, but the army is as incompetent as usual (a roll of 4 and 2 dead corps). Time to shoot some generals.In China, the Japanese have a crack as Si-An at exactly the same drm as the Russians in Finland (+5) but instead of 4 they roll 15 and another Chinese city falls. The Chinese generals reach despondently for another lager.The fine weather continues and the Japanese trundle forward. The Chinese simply have no way of counterattacking at this point in history so all they can do is wait for the dice to stop working for the Japanese. Unfortunately for them, that hasn’t happened yet.In other news the German Aux cruiser Atlantis completes its circumnavigation of the globe on a 6 month goodwill tour having called in at Luanda, Port Mozambique, Saigon, Acapulco and Rio. Its travels are widely followed in Germany with millions avidly reading the jolly exploits of its crew in the massively popular weekly column in Das Spieler entitled ‘The man from Atlantis’.Jan / Feb 1939Italy, Japan and the USA gear up and political affairs finish immediately afterwards. At last the USA can start producing at a discernable level (its production multiple has jumped from 1/20th to 1/4th). Appalling weather for the first three impulses result in no military activity of note. Yes even the Japanese.Mar/Apr 1939China ends up at the top of the bids, much to its surprise. Obviously stunned, its spies try to penetrate gestapo headquarters and foul it up (nest of spies, rolled 2, so a Birds Nest of Spies then). Implicated in an international scandal, the US congress is horrified at the actions of its ally (2 chits for China). That’s the last time I try that. Nothing else of note in the political actions – which probably means we just forgot to write down what happened. This sometime happens late at night after a few beers*.We head into the turn and Germany declares war on Belgium, which is guaranteed by the CW and France who will then probably start World War II (although technically that honour goes to Japan and China who lurched from limited to full war in May / June 1938). Immediately after the said declaration (played as reactionary war which means you can declare and then “owe” the political option to be played in the next turn), Andy remembers he spent the last of his money on an unremembered political option. This could be considered embarrassing and is certainly a bit of a giveaway as to Germany’s intentions. The Democrats chuckle merrily, but don’t appear to take any notice of the impending storm – so in fact the embarrassment will shortly be very much on the other side. Inconclusive maneuvers in the bogged down Finnish war and then a Japanese assault near Kunming kills off another two Chinese corps for no loss for Japan (I think it was a 17 or 18 roll) and now Kunming, the last Nationalist Chinese city in the South, is in reach.Sorry, I seem to have run out of photos, you will have to use your imagination.*Generally “a few beers” means around 12. [...]

Session: Leaving Earth:: First game - A beautiful game with a terrible outcome!

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:21:23 +0000

by ektopia

An exciting first attempt. Here are some highlights (mostly lowlights!) of the Russian's space program...

Gagarin is lost in lunar orbit inside his Vostok, without supplies. This was due to misunderstanding whether Gargarin had to move to the moon vicinity or if he could survey from lunar orbit. This would have saved Feoktistov too but we've learnt. However, Gagarin did successfully survey the moon; albeit, closer than planned.

Feoktistov, after a mistake with rocket power on the return to Earth and also was lost in lunar orbit during the wait home. With no ability to rescue, we have to report his death too.

The program's final effort was to get to the moon and back but by the end there was not enough power - again with miscorrections in power. There were no further fatalities thankfully but a further attempt may have been disastrous the Sutures hadn't been researched anyway. There were also huge financial wastage (unnecessary rendezvous purchase as well as maybe smaller rocket research?), which may have changed the outcome.

A summery of goals achieved (I picked all the easy plans) -

Sounding rocket
Artificial satellite
Man in space
Man in orbit (RIP)
Lunar survey (RIP)

13 points minus 4 for the fatalities equals - 9!

Lots to learn in a alternate universe next time! I'll be trawling through everybody's sessions to see what I can learn. For now, my brain aches; I'm going for a lay down!

Session: Mage Knight Board Game:: Solo Mines Liberation - Win

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:21:15 +0000

by LaTigre

I finally did it!

This was very lucky for me, i'm not good to write report so i just leave some info for reference.

Hero: Goldyx
Dummy: Norowas
Mines Liberated: All
Round: 2 Days and 2 Nights
Last Mine liberated: On my last turn with my last 5 cards (Dummy have declared End of Turn)
Number of Units: 2
Number of Spell cards: 0
Number of Keep/Mage Tower/Adventures Conquered: 0
Wound in my deck: 3
Final Total Score: 89

I rushed and gone for very quick exploration, i did not want to spend time on Keep/Tower/ecc... My focus was some Rampaging Enemy (for level me up quickly) and then try to "Pathfinder" the best way to dodge everything except Mines (the goal). I spent some turn to heal on City/Monastery and to grab 2 Units. Every turn was calculated, i was keep an eye on dummy's deck to get ready for every step. Goldyx "Wings" ability was damn good, i would say that was crucial cause with that i was able to dodge some nasty obstacle. I win on my very last turn with my very last 5 card and i was 2 spot away from the last mines but i was able to reach it and kill the 2 enemy spending all my last cards. Very very exiting for this Win

Session: Thornwatch:: Session Report: Thornwatch Solo play with minimal party

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:46:03 +0000

by culix When the Thornwatch Kickstarter was announced, I was hooked. Here was an easy pick-up-and-play tabletop RPG, that can introduce casual- and non-gamers to roleplaying and board games without any pressure. The art is gorgeous. The lore is fascinating. And the game mechanics are meant to avoid many of the slow or cumbersome parts of traditional Dungeons & Dragons games. Sounds like a blast.I'd like to eventually write a full review of Thornwatch, but first I need to play the game. To start, here is a simple session report, along with some background on why I think this game is great. I've got several game sessions ahead to playtest Thornwatch, and can post more then.I'm dividing this review into sections; feel free to skip around and only read what interests you.Background: Why I'm Excited for ThornwatchAmazing Art: It pulls you in and creates an engaging setting for the game.Love the Lore: Penny Arcade's comic "The Tithe" is a beautiful, moving experience. I want to learn more about this world. Who are the Daughters? What does a 3,000 year old druid care about? What binds the Thornwatch to this summons? Do the Thornwatch have memories? Can someone become a new Thornwatch? What do corrupted Thornwatch look like when your summons goes awry?Easy to Play: I ran through two scenarios in an hour! It's fast to pick up and learn, and hopefully helps introduce people to the wonder of roleplaying and tactical boardgames, without seeming like it's doing so They just get to have fun. And that's the whole point.It's Like Nothing I've Seen Before: It's similar to Dungeons & Dragons, but with beautiful art and easier area tracking. Characters use card decks so it's easy to track and use abilities. The Momentum system for combining initiative and health is insightful and elegant. And the Wound mechanic makes character damage meaningful but not punishing.(Side request: I'd love to read a Thornwatch review from someone who has played many hours of Descent and Mansions of Madness. How do they compare?)Fascinating Mechanics: To me this is the most interesting part of the game. Mike K. / Gabe has mentioned that he created this game to address some of the pain points he felt while running a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. I've felt some of these too, and it's great to see how you might fix them and create a game that still feels like a fun dungeoncrawl with friends, yet with smoother edges.Specifically, here are pain points I think this game addresses well: • Not every player can make it to a session: Thornwatch characters appear magically and are stateless - it's easy to pick up a game and at the end they disappear • Some people don't enjoy games with heavy preparation or 'homework': Thornwatch characters come from a pre-constructed deck; characters are stateless and already powerful • Some players have never roleplayed/are nervous/don't want to roleplay: Roleplaying is not required, but there are mechanics and flavor to introduce it gently and encourage it (Hero Dice and prompt text) • Players don't pay attention to the game: Some character skills activate based on what other players are doing; initiative is shuffled every round; amazing art to draw you in! • Players always take the same actions in-game/no thought or variety: character skills have to be powered and can't be used every turn • Players don't cooperate: Once an enemy is "on the edge", excess damage from that attack is ignored; players must work together to deliver a one-two punch to remove enemies from the board • High-level characters don't care about hit points: Wound cards don't kill you immediately but do restrict your options; players have an incentive to get rid of them so they can have more fun playing/more cards • If a character dies that player may stop having fun: with the Wounds system the enti[...]

Session: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game:: Boomerang Squad Mission Debriefing (HotAC)

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:36:52 +0000

by drathbun

Needle in a Haystack
Mission Background: A transport ship has been ambushed, and the survivors have managed to use one of their escape pods.
Primary Objective: Find the escape pod and rescue the survivors.
Secondary Objective: Find the container and recover its contents.

Boomerang Squad
Mission Participants: Fred (Y-Wing), Gutz, (Y-Wing), The Janitor (X-Wing), and Chulo (X-Wing)

Boomerang Squad took on their first mission tonight: Needle in a Haystack. Somewhere in an ion cloud were survivors from an ambushed transport ship. We sent out four of our newer pilots to try a rescue mission. When they arrived at the ambush site they found that the ion storms were fierce; they covered almost the entire area. There were only narrow corridors of safety that were big enough for the YT-2400 support ship to fly through. Radio signals were bouncing off of everything. As a result the squad had to carefully search each and every ion cloud to see if something was hiding inside.

Alpha and Beta squads of TIE Fighters appeared at the far edges of the ion storms. It didn't take long for our fearless pilots to figure out the TIEs were targeting the freighter almost exclusively, leaving nearly all of the other targets untouched. A lot of shooting was taking place, but not a lot of damage was being done. The ion storms were wrecking havoc on the TIE fighters in their fragile ships, but with the reduced visibility very little damage was being on either side.

The container was finally located; soon afterwards a pair of TIE Interceptors came in to join the fray. About half of the TIE fighters had been dispatched by then, so the odds seemed still in our heroes' favor.

At last (turn 9) the escape pod with the survivors was finally located, in the very last ion cloud to be scanned. What are the odds? As the freighter made its way over towards the pod, two new ships entered the combat zone. These ships had some sort of strange technology that allowed them to almost disappear, making them extremely hard to see. Despite this, our squad managed to take one of them out.

At this point, after 10 hard fought rounds, "Gutz" had to hyperspace for home. A round later, "The Janitor" kicked the bucket, but ejected safely from his X-Wing. The Interceptors and remaining Imperial craft took the freighter down to one hull point. With one round left to complete the mission (and the host of this particular area of space aka our local game store closing) it was called as an Imperial victory. The survivors were lost, the container was lost, the freighter was presumed destroyed, and Boomerang squad limped home.

Even with the loss, the intelligence gathered about the new Imperial threat (the cloaking ship) will prove to be very useful. When we go back to this region of space, we'll be better prepared to combat this mysterious new technology.

Take some R&R, get your ships repaired, and see what you can scrounge in the way of replacement equipment from our salvage yards. We'll see you again next week when Boomerang Squad flies again.

We did do the "Local Trouble" introductory mission. I just didn't take notes to write it up like this, so I'm calling this our first mission...

Session: The Palaces of Carrara:: First time playing and I loved it!

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:56:06 +0000

by dexdouglas

made it to Game Night while it was still early. I asked Vance what was in his bag of tricks. Palaces of Carrara was my choice as its been on my "to play" list for awhile since I love me some K&K and the German-mess of it had kept it out of my hands.

Vance setup the advanced version and I was digging it right from the get go. Anytime a game gives me limited actions but tough decisions to make, I'm instantly hooked. I was feeling really good about my game as I was building up my blue andGreen cities to score them and eventually score the end game bonus for poor cities. I was also perfectly diversified in my building types which I thought was a good thing! Turns out diversifing my bonds was a bad thing as I saw Vance score his triple stacked Castles on his upgraded Red city twice for 90 points (45 each turn, plus 18 gold if I remember correctly). Thankfully, by that time, the game was nearly over with about 15 minutes left, I maximized what I could and rushed to get my scoring markers out so I could end the game before the gap widened even further. Vance, being start player, wound up ending the game before me, but I still got the scoring areas I wanted. Ending the game with 92 points and second place behind Vance, doubling my score. Darrin had 70~, and Joe had 46~.

Regardless of the beat down, I really liked this game and that's obviously a good sign. I think my next play of it, I will definitely work more at getting some synergy between buildings and also I'd probably play a little looser with my money. As it was, I didn't really ever need to gain more money the entire game as I took cheap stuff most of the time, but having the income to throw around gives you more freedom in the market which means you're not at the mercy of other players actions. Really dug it.

Session: Space Alert:: Finally, some recognition?

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 00:56:15 +0000

by notsteven56 Tuesday, the 10th of SpaceI wake up and begin dreading the idea of getting up and putting on my battle suit. After lying in bed for a few minutes, I check my phone and realize it is Elon Musk day, a day held sacred on our home planet of Trump, LLC. Finally, a day off. To celebrate, I decide to fire up my bot friend; and, as she boots, I put on my robe and wizard hat. Alone time is hard to come by on the ship.Suddenly, I hear yelling from the central reactor room. My space buddy, Admiral Nelson, is performing visual confirmation and sees various threats heading toward the ship. I guess I won’t get that relaxing day off after all. We all meet in the computer room to assess the threat to our ship. As we are talking, we see that a meteorite is coming right toward the ship’s computer room. I quickly woggle the mouse to get the computer systems running. The team begins to fan out, and I find myself alone in the computer room with Meteor McDonough. After firing the central laser to take care of the meteorite, I realize that Meteor McDonough has not done anything. He is just standing there, watching in confusion. I decide to get out of there as quickly as possible, and head for the blue section of our ship. As I go through the door into the blue section, I run into my friend, Space Blair. He falls over. After getting up, clearly flustered, he tells me that a plasmatic fighter is heading directly toward our blue section. Keeping my cool, I decide to head downstairs to man the bottom laser. Arriving downstairs, the reactor is aglow with energy; this is a comforting sight. As I ponder whether to use this time to take a nap or not, I hear Space Blair’s voice coming through my headset. Unfortunately, he gets cut off mid-sentence as our communication system goes down. I sit in silence. Finally, with the comm system fully functioning, we decide to begin firing the lasers. The reactor is quickly draining. Luckily, my weapon runs off a Tesla Powerwall connected to a Solar City panel system. I jump as a rocket suddenly launches. That must be Admiral Nelson. Ever since we watched “Hackers,” he has been learning how to access the computer system to control weapon systems remotely. I don’t think I can listen to that soundtrack one more time… I pull energy over to the blue reactor before heading to the central reactor. Once here, I hear Gamma Ray Gilbert yelling for energy in the central reactor. Perfect timing. I pop one of our energy storage pods into the reactor, and wait for the praise. It never comes. No one ever realizes how much I do for this ship. I decide to take some turns off out of spite, hoping to make the most of the alone time that I missed out on earlier. Unfortunately, friend bot is still booting up; updates... I decide to play a game of solo space alert instead, having my ship destroyed in the second round. Bummer. As I finish packing up the game, I notice the central reactor is beginning to act strangely. I hear word from Meteor McDonough that the reactor is unstable. Lucky for me, I recently decided to try my hand as a mechanic. I walk over to the control panel, and instantly know what I need to do. Thanks to my training, I am able to press the giant “B” button twice in a relatively short period of time. After doing this, I check the reactor. Still unstable. I wait around for a bit, then press “B” again. No problem. I hear cheers from the rest of the cabin, I’m finally being recognized. Everyone begins heading my direction. A party, perhaps? I can hardly contain my excitement as everyone joins me in the central reactor room. I greet each person and get a passing “hey” in response as they head straight for the window. Space Blair pulls out a spyglass, incre[...]

Session: Nations:: "Least" player kicked in the teeth

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:26:04 +0000

by dwsparks

Three players, everyone's first time playing Nations. We did play with the B side, but without Advanced cards.

I suppose my problem with the game is that the penalties for being behind (or in this case losing a war) seem especially harsh - to the point where that player can't recover.

Things went pretty well during Age I. I had the Greeks, used Hoplite to gain a military advantage, started a war which affected the other two players, but everyone had the resources to make up the losses. Sphinx was built by another player.

During Age II I passed early, as I was hoping for a Mine (or other gold-generating card) to appear, but nothing came out that was useful. The Sphinx player built a Wonder, upgraded his military and started a War. The War penalty was six gold, so I lost 2VP, all my gold and books to make up the deficit.

As Age II continued, the Sphinx player built ANOTHER Wonder, while I'm trying to scrape together enough actions/stone to recover from the War losses and since he now gets a VP for starting a War, he starts another War which made me lose 2VP, all my stone and books to make up the deficit.

And to be honest, I never recover from these back-to-back losses. Sphinx player goes on to build so many Wonders that he eventually covers up the Sphinx in favor of one with more victory points. In the entire game, second place player built two Wonders, and I only completed one.

Final scores were 52/35/23

In theory a game should make you want to play it again, but this was like being kicked in the teeth after you have already been thrown to the ground. Punishments are compounded.

"Get behind, stay behind."

Session: Legends of Andor:: Legend 3: minor tweaks to lessen difficulty for newbs

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:26:02 +0000

by Caylusboy

Creatures, creatures everywhere!!! (image)

I sadly must report that we failed to win in our recent attempt at playing Legend 3 for the first time. It was a 3-player game, and we were only able to fulfil our fate card missions before time ran out (the end game boss was the Gran-Troll).

I think one of the major errors we committed was to kill too many Creatures (we wanted the gold), thus pushing the Narrator forward too quickly...

In hindsight, I'm under the distinct impression that the transition from Legend 2 to Legend 3 is a huge leap for new players: there are many many creatures that spawn in L3 (even with 5 slots at the castle, allowing for the 2 peasants).

I'm aware that the game designer has suggested some variants to make the Legends easier (for L3, +2 Strength Points at setup).

But I was considering the following tweaks to make L3 easier for beginners. I enjoy the challenge, but I'm afraid my fellow players, who are not seasoned gamers, may become disinterested because they find Andor too difficult to win (image) . In time, after we've learned the basic strategies of the game, we could play L3 as originally designed.

Here they are:

- only 3 Monster Tiles spawn at setup (instead of 5)
- fog tokens with gold worth 2 gold coins each (instead of just 1)

Does this seem reasonable?

Session: The Pursuit of Happiness:: Another "Pursuit" - 4 Player Game Session

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:58:18 +0000

by gamesgalore Game of Pursuit of Happiness – September 21, 2016Here’s another “story” of a great game of The Pursuit of Happiness. I was the only person who had played previously, so it was a new experience for the other three players. Ken, Robin, Mike and I had a “rousing” game, and Robin was victorious. Here is “our story” of the game.Our goals for the game were: Complete the Most Projects, Enter Old Age with the Least Stress, Achieve an L3 Job, and Participate in the Most Activities. We also used the “Trends” expansion. Our three trends for projects were Health, Social and Tech. We had a very close game, with Robin edging out Mike by about 5 points, and me by 9. Our final scores were Robin-72, Mike-67, Lyle-63 and Ken-54. More explanation of how these happened follow in our life stories.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Lyle was a very productive child, and one would think it would lead to success in his work life. But that simply wasn’t the case. He was productive enough in his teens to start working on an invention, which he completed during his 20’s. Also during his 20’s, Lyle took on a mid-level “social” role, but failed to continue his education and requirements to keep his job…before he was 30!!! Jobless heading into his 30’s, he decided to completely focus on his health (it was the latest trend). He took up jogging and working out, and truly improved his vitality. During this time he didn’t work and didn’t have any significant relationships, except for one summer fling! Of course, his friends and peers were achieving much more during this time, but that didn’t bother Lyle at all!Once he entered his 40’s, and having his health and happiness, he became somewhat of a “partier!” Lyle spent the decade “clubbing,” bar hopping and at cocktail parties (after all, he was a very social individual). He also loved attending concerts with his friends. Still no “significant other” appeared, but he was definitely on the lookout. Lyle spent his life without accumulating anything…he was more interested in enjoying life than “buying stuff.” Finally, as he entered his 50’s, his party style was quieting down. He met Bobbie, and began a very serious relationship. She was 20 years his junior, and together they decided to start a family. Of course, Lyle had to slow down a bit and focus on Bobbie and kids. So they began enjoying strolls in the park, going fishing and going to the shooting range. As Lyle entered his 60’s, his health was strong and he began doing some painting and attending art competitions. He and Bobbie also loved participating in bake sales at the local farmer’s market. Lyle lived through two full decades of “old age” and made it well into his 80’s! His focus on projects and health served him well throughout his life.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Robin was the typical “nerd.” She carried a pocket protector and spent every minute studying anything she could throughout her early years. As soon as she could, she used her tremendous “study” ability to enter the workplace at a very high level job as a scientist (L3). Before she was out of her 20s, she was amazingly able to retire from that job with a nice pension for the rest of her life. That allowed her to move on to other things…but what did she choose? Another job!!! This time she went into the arts, again at a very high level. Well before the end of her life, she also retired from that job which then allowed her to have a very relaxing and productive retirement!Once Rob[...]

Session: Race! Formula 90: Expansion #2 – Barcelona and Silverstone:: Barcelona - Play of the game

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:15:27 +0000

by ryan3740

I finally got to play the Barcelona expansion over the weekend. Man, that was a rough track eating up my tires on those trajectories.

Jason (gold car highlighted in the picture below) was battling at 5th place while his superfast robot teammate (orange car) was in first. On Jason's turn 15 he placed a yellow flag in a corner with the lead lapped yellow robot (yellow/blue car) and me in the blue car.

On turn 16 the orange car (leader) pitted and wound up in the same corner section as me. This left the yellow/blue robot in front of me to be unlapped and me the new leader. I did not have a green flag in my hand, so I was forced to not move on my individual turn due to the yellow flag. Jason's orange robot teammate could also not move. This allowed the person in third (green car)to catch up to us and resulted in a very congested turn 6.

Well played Jason. Well played. (image)

Please note that this picture was taken near the end of the turn. The only car left to move was the yellow/blue car blocking the leader.

Session: World in Flames:: Game report #8 : Russia awakes / the Sudetenland (reprise)

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:39:39 +0000

by nailsworthnobby Previously : Rhineland reoccupied, Ethiopia conquered, Japan invades China, Anschluss, Russian purges, Spanish Civil War starts and stalemates, CW and France establish new Entente Cordiale, Persia conquered, Germany and Italy sign rubbish pact.May / Jun 1938Everyone bids to play political options as there is clearly an appetite for political engagement. The Soviets are top of the shop and demand Bessarabia. Germany caves in and another little part of Europe falls under tyranny. The Germans and Italians sign the pact of melamine (level 2 treaty). Seeing this worrying alignment of the forces of evil, the CW offers a pact to US but rolls too low and ends the politics before the US has a chance to respond (or any of the other MPs I am supposedly in charge of – I must try harder to move up the order in future).The military affairs involve more shuffling of troops from one place to another (if you are Democrat) or threatening build ups on the borders of helpless minor countries if you are one of the others. The Japanese press on in Southern China forcing the Chinese back to try and establish a coherent line. They are now well into the mountains and Greg is having to be careful about supply – unfortunately the Chinese partisans have not made much of an impact yet as they are very weak at this stage of the war.The “massive” Russian troop concentration on the Rumanian border slowly disperses, its job done, and heads north looking for another victim. The turn drags on and on with only the Russians and the Japanese making use of the impulses before finally ending by which point the first Soviet troops have arrived adjacent to Finland. The US is finally unshackled by the restrictions of the Japanese limited war and is able to play USE options against Japan. First out of the gate is the start Chinese aircraft option (go me with that level of optimism) which does not generate tension so it is immediately followed with the embargo on strategic materials. Japan doesn’t look perturbed by this.Jul / Aug 1938Much bidding action again and with its almost inexhaustible supply of hoarded bid points it is easy for Russia to again secure the top slot. This time our wily dictator demands the Finish Borderlands. However, stung by international criticism of his failure to support Rumania, this time the Fuhrer stands tall and decides to sacrifice some Finns to the fight against Bolshevism. Politics finish and the Soviets will have to make a decision as to whether they back down (oh the humiliation) or start a limited war against Finland.In other news the Germans demand the Sudetenland after seeing the CW take Norway into an Economic agreement while the Italians attempt to forestall any French intervention by playing Nest of Spies and forcing the French to play 0(f) as their next option. Then they end the turn preventing the whole thing from being an thing. So the Sudetenland is absorbed into the German Reich and the so-called Democrats do nothing. Boo.Unseasonably poor weather hampers military activities. Russia avoids the risk of being referred to as a big girls blouse and declares war on Finland (have you mentioned this to your wife, Andy?). In a sign of things to come the Soviet air force miss the all their ground strikes so the troops maneuver but the turn ends early before they can strike.The US continues with their entry option play by freezing Japanese assets. Perhaps a little perturbation this time?Sept/Oct 1938Clearly having taken note of the lack of political action last time around, the USA has bid big and is top of the pops. They offer a pact to[...]

Session: ATS TT: LZ X-Ray:: LZ X-Ray Revisited

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:11:08 +0000

by moly19

This is an interesting ATS set that I had & discarded after my tantrum surrounding the itsy bitsy "TT" counters that the publisher insisted on trotting out. After figuring out how to make a VASSAL module, though, I reobtained it 'cos now I can make the counters as big as I like (image)

I was going to say that each side in this thing have their strengths and weaknesses, but I have to say that The US really have no weaknesses. Immense firepower, a far superior arty net and a couple of leaders that behave almost like Commissars (except without the bullet in the back if things go sideways). The NVA, on the other hand, have the benefit of stealth and speed; they may traverse woods and tall grass hexes as if they were open ground and glean an extra defensive bonus when stationary or crawling in those same terrain features. They have, however, only half of the destructive power that their American foes enjoy and are limited to how they may form firegroups. It would seem that to succeed with the NVA one needs to exploit their stealthiness to its maximum potential.

I didn't. Here's how the game with
[user=ilikegames][/user] shook out.

In Scenario #3, Rescue Mission, my NVA's task was to rack up VP by eliminating US troops and controlling three hexes near the LZ OR eliminate all members of a stranded group of grunts. Edwin's task was to prevent the latter and to accumulate VP, as well.

The US has automatic contact to their pair of heavy mortars, safely off in the weeds, so staying out of sight was a key task for the NVA. I was mostly successful with this, not offering too many targets by skulking out of LOS by the end of each turn. By doing this, Edwin was unable to hit the same stack twice in a row and had to re-spot on nearly every turn. He struggled with accuracy but, when he hit, it made a mess.

I figured the only way I could prevail here was to keep moving and execute hit-and-run attacks. This went mostly well, except that when moving-and-shooting one's attack strength is halved, so I never brought very much to bear in any of these forays, coming up with a lot of non-results along with chipping away a step here, a step there.

Edwin played a disciplined match, not sticking his neck out too far. Once he occupied the VP-paying hexes he hunkered down, happy enough to let me come to him. There came a point when I had to get more aggressive, or maybe reckless, and most of my efforts at that point were met with withering Opportunity Fire. That and a few poor choices late in the game took me out of contention.

I cannot help but feel that I could have played the NVA and their stealth factor more effectively, but I just haven't grokked quite how to do that, yet.

Session: Agricola (revised edition):: 4-Player Cruisin' For a Bruisin' or Sophomore Shenanigans

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 06:24:08 +0000

by MisterG Greetings from the Buckeye State, producer of soybeans, corn, and a healthy crop of Agricola players. A month or so ago, a new cohort of gamers invited me to school them in the greatest cardboard subsistence farming game on the planet. How could I say no? They'd picked up a copy of the revised edition and I was eager to give it a spin. Our first contest was, unsurprisingly, a serious blow-out, their first encounter with a 4-player bout that went happily unrecorded. I advised them that the next time would likely end up as a session report, and here we are.Paul is a fellow toiler in the slave pits of food service. His compadre, Jeff, works at a different restaurant, and Derek labors to keep people from suffering environmental disaster. All three are fellow denizens of BGG, if I'm not mistaken,* and I'll leave it to them to provide further explication if they so choose. We didn't bother with any sort of a draft (there being no real point of it for neophytes almost totally unfamiliar with the cards),** so once we had the game set up, things got underway quickly. Derek got the honors via random selection.*Which, sadly, I often am.*There may be only 96 cards in the revised game, but that's still a mess of information to grok. I have no doubt they'll catch on the more they play.Round One/FencesDerek – Occ/Assistant TillerJeff – 3W(3)Geoff – RsfPaul – PFDerek – DL(2f) + PFJeff – SP + Clearing Spade (-1W)Geoff – 2C(2)Paul – 1GDerek initiates the proceedings with what will undoubtedly become a mainstay Ock of the revised game, then instinctively obeys the law of “play the card, use the card.” Jeff draws wood to swipe the button and activate a Minor he will use liberally. I gather a variety of resources, biding my time. Paul pursues an early grain strategy. The game is afoot. Current StatusDerek – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 1 PF, 1 OckGeoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 2C/1R/1SPaul – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 1G, 1 PF Jeff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 2W, 1 MnImpRound Two/Grain UtilizationJeff – 1GGeoff – 2W(4)Paul – 1R(2)Derek – 2C(2)Jeff – Occ/Small-Scale Farmer°Geoff – RsfPaul – SP + xDerek – Occ(-1f)/Hedge KeeperJeff claims an unexpected grain, I quickly haul in needed lumber, Paul stows away precious reed, and Derek puts in his bid for first cookery. Jeff unveils his lead Ock, another revision stalwart. I happily thrift again, while Paul throws caution to the wind with a Minor-less button heist. Derek spurns timber in favor of another Ock.**Constant Reader will note the link shows the OG progenitor; the Revised version does not require a 1Wood trigger. It simply grants three free fences. I have no idea why doesn't have the "correct" one up yet.Current StatusDerek – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 2C, 1 PF, 2 OckGeoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 4W/2C/2R/2SPaul – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 2R, 1G, 1 PFJeff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 2W, 1G, 1 Ock, 1 MnImpRound Three/MIMI Jeff – 1W Paul – 3W(6)Derek – 1GJeff – PFGeoff – Fish(3f)Paul – GU (1 Gf)Derek – DL(2f) + PFJeff – SP + Handplow (PF> -1W)Geoff – MIMI/Brook Paul claims the stacked cords, Derek and Jeff keep that farming thing going, and I opt for cheap food.* Paul farms, Derek flogs his Tiller, and now Jeff claims the initiative, plus a bargain field by and by. Somewhat stymied, I get out the middling Minor I went fishing for; it'll earn me a whopping 4food.***Why I didn't jump on the fireplace after Derek let it slide will be readily apparent shortly after [...]

Session: Labyrinth: The Awakening, 2010 – ?:: The Hagel Doctrine

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:24:35 +0000

by mkilc72

First run through of the Arab Spring scenario was great. Incredibly solid expansion that I'd say was better than the base game (and my copy is significantly worn from hours upon hours of use). First play through was myself as the Jihadists vs the US bot.

Bot kickstarted things by withdrawing forces from the Gulf States, playing Smartphones, and getting Awakening markers in Afghanistan (don't remember how exactly but it was +2 on the first turn). Quick play of censorship knocked them out and I (wrongly) decided to get bogged down in recruiting cells into Afghanistan for most of the first 3 turns to replace cells that I was losing "overseas" to failed travel/jihad attempts.

The bot was having trouble playing WOI for those first few turns showing that the US no longer had the influential power it had right after 9/11 due to a medium level of prestige thanks to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Bin Laden being alive and well, and the US conflicting with world powers over the GWOT (was -3 Hard at that point. UK, FR, Israel, & China thanks to the Korean Crisis). That changed though when the bot came up with Hagel card. US shifted from soft to hard and removed one of the biggest obstacles to the bot being able to do WOI in muslim countries.

Later on with the play of Status Quo Afghanistan transitioned out of Regime Change and eventually won the game via good resources.

Interesting play through for the first time. Discovered that my best option would be to leave Afghanistan ASAP otherwise the bot will continually exploit cells in the country for +Prestige.

Syria, in a creepy way, followed real life. Daara card came up on the second turn, both I and the bot played a card (can't recall the name) to place Awakening/Reaction markers in Syria. Then on Turn 3 "Free Syrian Army" came up and was played by the US and it plunged into Civil War. By the end of the game it still wasn't resolved with Attrition being a tit for tat between us. It ended with 4 Militia/UNSCR 1973 against 6 cells with both WMD's in Syria still. It also was set to Poor Neutral after a minor Jihad.

All in all a great game and one that I can't wait to get back to on the weekends.

Session: Tide of Iron:: FINNISH RAID: We return to the earliest days on Tide of Iron's Eastern Front

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:42:10 +0000

by JDarlington After a busy summer spent largely away from the tabletop, this weekend Tom and I returned to our play-through of Tide of Iron’s Eastern Front. We took this chance to rewind the clock and return to the scenarios we missed from the early part of the war – either because we weren’t aware of them, or because they were only made available after we started our play-through.The first of these missed scenarios is "Finnish Raid", Hans Sverre Smalø’s scenario of Finns versus Russians in the notorious winter war of 1939/40. It’s a small scenario on just two boards, and it drops players immediately into the fight. (It’s probably just as well that the scenario is small, since Tom and I have been away from the game for a few months.)THE SCENARIOSoviets set up in the center three hexes, and the Finns then set up anywhere that isn’t adjacent to a Soviet unit. The Finns also go first, so they have all the advantages. But the scenario’s big puzzle for the Finnish player is what to do about those two heavy Soviet KV-1 tanks. There is no time limit or turn marker. The victory conditions are simple:- For either side, annihilate the entire enemy force- For the Soviets, escape the Finnish trap by driving at least one KV-1 off either board edge.The Finns have fewer troops, but they are of much higher quality and they get to go first. But it’s those tanks that are the puzzle, as the Finns have no conventional anti-tank weapons to help them deal with the Soviet beasts.Tanks and time pressuresIf the tanks are left alone, the Soviet player can win at the start of the second Round by simply driving a tank off the board; nothing else will matter. Specifically: by the end of Round 1, the Soviet player wants to camp on the Command Point hex. This lets him claim Initiative for Round 2, at which point he can immediately drive one tank off the board as his very first action of Round 2 and end the game with an instant victory.On the other hand, the Finnish player can’t win by focusing only on the tanks; immobilizing or destroying them only prevents an early loss. The Finnish player must retain enough forces to annihilate all of the remaining Soviet infantry. The Finnish player has another dilemma. It’s always possible for the Soviet player to choose the “annihilate the Finns” path to victory instead of the “exit a tank” victory; the Finnish player can’t afford to assume that the tanks will only ever be used to move and escape. They could instead sit still and contribute their firepower to a straight-up fight, and decimate any Finns that have left themselves in the open (like, in the middle of the road) just to slow down any moving tanks. For this reason, I was reluctant to try any strategy that involved camping the limited Finnish infantry on the open road to block an exit path; what if the Soviets just attacked the exposed infantry instead.Dealing with those tanksHans Sverre Smalø makes it clear that the Finnish player must use his first two actions wisely. I thought this meant somehow disabling or destroying those two KV-1s so that they couldn’t exit the board; but I struggled to see how I could do that with the first two Finnish actions.To deal with those tanks, the situation the Finnish player really wants is to fire at the tanks at full power from an adjacent hex. If the Finnish player does this with Experts, he is rolling four dice for 4+ with rerolls versus the tank’s 6 dice for 5+. This should result in a hit[...]

Session: Bright Future:: Tunnel Fever - solo play - normal difficulty - Stalker

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:49:04 +0000

by enzoone I haven't been too successfull in this game so far. I had a reason to assume another defeat. That's why I decided to record and share this session to receive some feedback from experienced players to se what I'm doing wrong.It happened that I won finally. Let me share the session anyway.SETUP1. Codes: 3, 3, 1, 12. Items: Draw 4 mutant and 2 hnuman items. I keep human items: Flamethrower (6) and Handmade Armor (2)3. Character selection:I will need more equipment obviously. Luckily, the market is allready full of human items. I decide to choose Stalker. My plan is to use his ability to avoid fighting Anomalies at the beginning if necessary. I want to spare resources for Outposts - hire Mercenaries or fight there with Mutants to get some more items from 100% human market. Later on I would use Stalker's second ability to fight Anomalies.TURN 1Tunnel PhaseI draw Handcar and Caravan.I'm going to play Caravan with Outbreak effect. Remember, the codes in slots are 3, 3, 1, 1. I don't want Mutation to change any of 1's to 2 or 3.I skip Tunnel Phase effect. Market is more than OK for me.Map PhaseFollowing my plan I move to Outpost on the first Map Card. Lucky draw - there are humans - Incinerators. I hire them and get Chainsaw from the market.Having enough resources I decide to take risk and move to explore Anomaly on the same Map Card. There is Insect Swarm. I reduce damage with Handmade Armor and survive the encounter. I draw a random code - it's 1 (3 would be the best but 1 is still ok).I immediatelly send Incinerators to purge affected population (and get rid of two 1s). It costs some population and Infection token moves down two spaces. But two Infection slots are clear now, two 3's remain. Infection PhaseOutbeak: I draw 1 luckily.End of turnCode slots are 3, 1, 0, 0. Population is reduced by 1.TURN 2Tunnel PhaseTrade Routes and Freelancer.I play Freelancer. (I need more items and Mercenaries) I meet Tramps and hire them. I'm getting Heavy Shield at the same time.Map PhaseI explore more tunnels (draw new map card) and with confidence I encouter another Anomaly. Subterranean Spiders. With Flamethrower and Heavy Shield I survive. More over I choose to stay, take double damage and save Gigamutant from Spiders. He joins me as Mercenary. (special effect of Anomaly)Killing Spiders I got code 1. Infection PhaseBad news - new population is contaminated (3). I can do nothing about it.End of turnCode slots are 3, 3, 1, 0. Population is reduced by 2.TURN 3Tunnel PhaseTrade Routes and Freelancer. Again !!!Having only 6 resources I play Trade Routes this time. I explore Abandoned Farm and find Helmet. But wait - there is some Anomaly at the Farm. Walking Death threatening the child! Flamethrower and Chainsaw do the job. I gain another 1 code and the child is save - for now.Map PhaseI keep exploring tunnels. Settlement No.2 is in my way inhabited by Canibal Cult. Seeing a child with me, they had generous offer for me. They will take care of the child and even more, they pay me 12 bucks. How could I refuse?!In return I promissed to help them out with the Anomaly in neighborhood. There were Mutated Thorns. I faced them with my Heavy Shield and got code 3.Infection PhaseAnother Contamination threatens the population. I draw 1. Luckily I can sent Tramps to warn people and contamination is prevented.End of turnCode slots are 3, 3, 1, 0. Population is reduced by 2.TURN 4Tunnel PhaseSecret Passage and Trade Routes (Trade Routes came three time[...]

Session: World in Flames:: Game report #7 : China. Oh dear.

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:36:20 +0000

by nailsworthnobby

Previously : Rhineland reoccupied, Ethiopia conquered, Japan invades China, Anschluss, Russian purges, Spanish Civil War starts and stalemates, CW and France establish new Entent Cordiale, Persia conquered.

Nov / Dec 1937

The CW joined the naval treaty. Japan signed a trade deal with an unrecorded minor country (probably someone Latin American – which seems very common in DoD) and Germany and Italy signed the pact of Bakelite (also sometimes known as a Level 1 treaty).

More of the same in China and Greg repeats the relatively low odds attack on Canton and again ends up hitting 13 rather than 14. With China still able to produce units on a turn by turn basis, Japan losing three units to a single Chinese boy would be very good news for the Democrats. Unfortunately the dice are not playing the game. Otherwise very poor weather limits activity to effectively nothing.

Jan / Feb 1938

Germany gears up. The USSR gears up. Japan play government falls on France who go next and hold the required election (the gear up will have to wait). Italy plays credit card to stop the heavily overdrawn CW from gearing up but the generous French people lend them the extra cash (such is the advantage of a proper treaty) before ending the political phase.

This time the Japanese capture Canton without loss and buoyed by this success attempt another low odds attack into Kwei Yang. As usual, the final die roll ends up as 13 and yet again the 14 of death is body swerved. The Nationalist Chinese pull back to the mountain line, muttering.

Mar/Apr 1938

Everyone has a go at politics and many, many bid points are taken, the French gear up and China appeals to the LoN for a credit extension. Unfortunately they were turned down thanks to those German backed spoilsports Rumania who voted against (you’ll regret that when the Chinese army isn’t there for you in your time of need).

Appalling weather in the Northern hemisphere but the skies clear in southern China and despite low odds attacks, high die rolling means that both Kwei-Yang and Nanking fall for no IJN losses. The remnants of the Nationalist Chinese army reel backwards (surely ‘retire in good order’? – ed.), setting up to laager around Chungking.

The photograph shows the position after the Japanese capture of Kwei Yang but before the seizure of Nanking (and the Chinese oil reserves). I think was too depressed to take a photograph of this entire theatre after this point …

Everything has gone very bad for the Chinese. As Polly Jean so eloquently put it -

How could that happen?
How could that happen again?
Where the f*** was I looking
When all his horses came in?
And he built a whole army
Of kamikaze

Session: Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game:: First game finished - Germans win by force

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:14:19 +0000

by flogae

So here's my report of our first ever finished game of Civ:

Let me start by saying I am proud we actually made it through the game - after two unsuccessful attempts that we had to abort due to lack of time. If three working family fathers actually manage to play an epic monster game like this one, then that is something to be proud of. Took us one Friday evening of about four hours plus the following Sunday evening with about another three.

Now let's proceed with the naked facts: Germans won in Turn 11 by Military against Egypts and Romans. At the time, Rome was looking quiet good in culture, but still needing some turns for a victory (just starting to attack the last Age on the culture scale with about 20 markers saved up and producing roundabout 15 every turn). Egypt was all built up with every imaginable building and Wonders, but at the same time not really advancing on any of the relevant victory paths. And, fatal mistake as we now know, they had been neglecting their military all along, so the Germans were able to pull a quick surprise victory by building Himeji Castle, researching Airforce and going for Cairo in a rush.

Gotta say this though: the player playing the Germans only did that daring move because we were going to stop playing after Turn 11 - for time reasons again. So he wanted to see it happen and went for the risky choice. In a normal course of the game, with more time at hand - he would have continued to work on his economic victory, which Otto would probably have been able to accomplish in Turn 12. Rome, while strong enough in Military to not serve as a target for the Germans, would've been unable to counter the German economic victory with a Military strike.

So that's that and I must say - it was fun. And needs repetition soon, if at all possible. Most definitely, as our experience with the game and its mechanics grow, there will be other strategies and counter-strategies for winning and I can't wait to tell you about it...

Oh, did I mention it? We were playing the basic game without any extensions.

Session: Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles:: Four Plays in an Evening

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 06:40:37 +0000

by SiddGames I posted in the "Rulebooks on your table" thread that I had just gotten the Band of Brothers KS package and had plans to play this past Saturday. I'm happy to report that it actually happened!We first played the training scenario with me as the Germans defending the bridge and building while Brian's paratroopers had to attack across open ground and a canal to reach me. I elected to keep the MG weapon team, figuring the extra firepower was worth letting the scenario go one more turn. One turn into it we were both pretty astounded that he only had four turns to accomplish his mission, but as we went on we discussed where we think we each could have done things differently.For example, the American's proficient firepower was only 1 less than it's normal firepower, which means they were pretty effective at using assault fire and op fire, something Brian didn't take advantage of initially.He succeeded in getting a squad across the bridge and into the first building where I had a suppressed squad defending, but I passed my morale check before the melee and we succeeded in eliminating each other. While it was good to eliminate one of his superior squads (all mine were 2nd line troops), it was very costly losing one of my three units in this small scenario. I should have tried moving my other squad across the street into this first building at this point but decided to stay in place to cover the bridge, which probably cost me.He ended up taking the building objective on turn 3, leaving me in the position of either rooting him out of there or rushing onto the bridge to re-capture it and try to survive a turn of fire and rout checks while moving in the open. I elected to try for the building and failed. Victory to Brian and the US.This was such a short/quick scenario that we decided to switch sides and try it again. You'd think that I'd do even better with the Americans as I used lessons learned (like assault fire moving into the nearby woods and spending a turn suppressing the Germans) but you'd be wrong I generally rolled terribly and had only fully suppressed one unit by the end of turn 2, so I felt I had no choice but to try rushing across the bridge and into the nearest building. My first two squads to move out were suppressed and both failed their morale check to continue moving, becoming stuck in the open. One of them failed a rout check later that turn and retreated back to the woods, while the other was eliminated in turn 4 by the MG team.I tried pushing forward again on turn 4 and couldn't succeed in getting my closest unit across the open ground, leaving my last squad too far away to even make it to the objective building. Victory to Brian and the Germans.I think I waited too long to make my push. Even failing to get much suppression on the Germans, the time pressure was great enough I think I should have moved forward sooner. If I'm going to get suppressed and reduced, better to have it happen sooner than later so I have sufficient time to reach the objective.I really liked the system. We kept consulting the rules initially to see what all the modifiers and conditions were for various things, but in the end it really does boil down to "morale check to do anything, roll your target number to hit." Brian liked it but wasn't as impressed as I was with the streamlining.I also really like final op fire, in which a used unit is still allow[...]

Session: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1:: The days grow short... (Late September Session Report - Full Spoilers Included!)

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:02:57 +0000

by LeonardQuirm (Continuing the month by month session reports: see our other months here - JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneEarly JulyLate JulyAugustEarly SeptemberOnwards: to come!)September: take 2. As with our only previous loss, it felt weird setting up – firstly, in not going through the Legacy deck, and secondly, in having to choose some events.And I’d suggest not reading the following unless you’ve read all of the previous report. Go back and read early September first – and if you haven’t because you haven’t reached necessary spoilers, go play more Legacy!Our infections were mixed. On the plus side all three trios were non C0da – the first in Taipei, generating a new Military Base to replace the one in Asia we’d destroyed last game, and the other two in adjacent cities in America – Miami and Bogota. Several of the other infections were in Faded areas however. As for opening hands: I turned mine over and went “great, I’ve nearly got a Yellow cure – three Yellow and a Blue.” Nicole turned hers over: “huh, me too!”We needed a change to our character selection, with both Spike’s betrayal and a need to achieve the quarantine 7 cities objective. Tina the Quarantiner was the obvious choice, but who would we take to accompany her? She already had two relationships – rivals with Mike the Medic, Family Members with Ollie the Ops Expert. Mike was a tempting partner, but we really wanted some way to deal with the Faded – so we eventually opted to introduce Valerie the Virologist. She needed a relationship, so eventually we decided she was a Co-worker’s of Mike. I took Tina and Nicole took charge of our new joiner Valerie.I began and we set our pawns in Atlanta. I moved to Miami, treated, quarantined, and threw a quarantine marker into Faded central. Nicole was holding the Miami card, and with the Level 3 positive mutation meaning that we only needed 4 cards, that’d give us a quick cure to begin. But we didn’t need to wait even that long – I drew a yellow at the end of my turn, and we were one cure down immediately. Now just everything else to deal with!Nicole travelled south, clearing out the yellow cubes in quick work with our cure. With that under control I flew to Asia and began to deal with the remaining cubes that had dumped the new Military Base in Taipei. And not a moment too soon – our first epidemic hit, placing three Faded in Hong Kong yet again. The permanent roadblocks out of there have been working overtime – at least for our piece of mind!Nicole began her mission to destroy the permanent bases in the Yellow regions. With my cure, her host of Yellow cards were expendable on other aspects and she quickly disposed of the Lagos base. She was also drawing black cards and seemed to be relishing in taking an active role in removing Faded figures using the Virologist’s remote treatment ability.Meanwhile, I began to make some use of Tina’s character upgrade – Local Pressure. With it, I could quarantine Hong Kong past the roadblock without using Tina’s once per turn remote ability, and when I Military Shuttled across to Riyadh (man, these military types are awfully kind to let us keep using their stuff given the situation) the upgrade really began to show its worth. Between there and Paris (also Faded) I quickly established a good range of Quaran[...]

Session: Mega Civilization:: 2016-05-06 Braunfels, GHS Hexacon, Germany 13 persons - 12 hours

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:52:27 +0000

by HHarengel Every year the GHS (Society of Historic Simulations) holds a club meeting, the so-called Hexacon. This meeting traditional takes place in the beautiful town of Braunfels in scenic Lahn-Dill-Kreis in Germay.In the week of the con members from all countries meet in Braunfels and indulge their hobby. In addition to the program, there are lectures on history and different tournaments.The City Hall in Braunfels makes it possible to build great games. All participants have short distances to lodging, shopping and dining caused by the central location of the town hall. A limited number of parking spaces available at the hall.13 neanderthals arranged a Mega Civilization game during the Hexacon. We played on 3/4 of the map and had two markets: one for the east and one for the west.The game developed very peaceful in the west. In the east there were some skirmish, but most of the players had to deal with calamities.The nations in detail:01 - MinoaHad a very hard stand. Spreaded very slow on the islands and had to struggle with Hellas to get territory.02 - SabaWas only at the arabic side. Some attempts in Africa failed. Conflicts with Nubia, arranged with Persia and Babylon.03 - AssyriaMade territory, always had enough cities to make a good trade.06 - BabylonHad problems with revolts and romans.07 - CarthageHad good borders to Egypt and Iberia, was always present in Sicily.09 - HattiGave some territory to Babylon and Hellas.11 - RomeAlways had enough cities with temporarily settlement in Babylon.12 - PersiaOn both sides of the gulf, temporarily lost half of its territory.13 - IberiaWas developping good, always enough cities.14 - NubiaSettling at the Horn of Africa. Was angry of the vulcany, had conflicts with Saba. Occupied half of the persian territory.15 - HellasHad some terrain normaly taken by Minoa. Some struggle at the beginning, peaceful in the remaining game.17 - EgyptePeaceful in the west, not too much space in the north-east and south-east.18 - ParthiaRestricted aria. Conflicts with Persia. Few trading caused by fear of calamities.Final standings:NationA.S.T.citiescivstotalAssyria75839122Carthage70639115Persia70730107Rome70527102Hatti6552494Iberia6571890Hellas6542089Egypte6542089Babylon6532088Saba5571678Minoa5551373Parthia5030659Nubia4540352We used the following add-ons, everything available in the files section of BoardGameGeek:Mega Civ - Corrected Cards5 cards of the game have errors. 3 have wrong discount values and two texts are not clear. On the page are 5 corrected cards. Print 18 copies, laminate and cut - and you have correted cards.Custom colored mats with city census built inThe player mats of Mega Civilizations are very puristic. Theese ones are the best. You see the name, color, number on A.S.T. and number of cities on board together. The dealing of civilization cards becomes so easy with this mats.Civilization Advances - Purchase RecordEvery player hat one of this DIN-A4 sheets. On this sheets you can manage your civilization cards. In contains a card summery with prices, discounts and properties. Additionaly you have columns of numbers where you can note discounts and victory points. Just mark everything with a pencil and you are done.We did not use the discount markers from the game box, the handling is very circuitous.Deutsche Advances/Calamities HilfeThis is a germa[...]

Session: World in Flames:: Game report #6 : Persia and the Sudetenland

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 22:29:41 +0000

by nailsworthnobby Previously: Japan invades China, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland and absorbs Austria, Italy conquers Ethiopia and inadvertently starts a civil war in Spain. The Democrats hold a number of pointless elections (the government always gets in) and the Communist shoots many generals.May/Jun 1937The French and British finally bid enough to get to the top of the pile so that they can get their level 2 treaty agreed They are both very happy at the deal but oh no! The distraction provides the cover for the Germans to demand the Sudetenland and then end the politics phase before anyone can respond – not that there is anything to be done. (Except there is as you will discover in a later episode).The offensive grinds forward in China with poor weather stalling the advance although the Chinese position is poor. But then the weather clears to all Fine, and the Japanese crush the troops holding the resources north of Canton. The way is open to the interior and Chang-Kai Shek starts demanding a more aggressive stance from Mao’s bandits currently hiding in the mountains outside Si-An. They pull faces and make rude gestures.The Spanish front has stabilized with most of the Government forces holed up in Bilbao except for a foolish contingent advancing towards a strongly held Nationalist Madrid (and their probable defeat and dishonour).Jul/Aug 1937Having blown their bid points last time, the CW and France relinquish top political spot to Germany but manage to sneak into second and third place. The Germans kick off by playing IPO2 (economic agreement) with Finland as their endless quest for raw materials continues, next France offer a level 3 (yes three) to CW who immediately accept. Russia rake in even more bid points but we know not why, Italy are surprised to get a go and gather some bid points themselves before ending proceedings. The USA and China don’t get to flex their political muscles this time around.Democrats win the military initiative for what seems like the first time (maybe it is?). Ticker tape parades in Manhattan ensue. Not that it helps. The Chinese back off in the south to leave the hapless troops in a probably indefensible Canton to their fate, but send out a CL in a death or glory sortie to kill Jap convoys. You know the plot – “The war’s going badly, Lin Xuehai, and we need a morale boost. Head on out to sea and see what you can sink. Don’t come back.” A hastily scrambled NAV in the 0 box means that the brave Chinese sailors have to use their hard won surprise to avoid air combat but then get seen off by the escorting CA. Typically Simon rolls 10 and avoids the D result but since there will shortly be no port to rebase to, this is a probably worthless triumph. The red menace continue to reinforce the front and the Chinese retreat north of Canton in storm – they are mostly now flipped but the weather is unlikely to change to allow the IJA to exploit the gaps. The Russians finally get frisky and declare war on Persia. Josef is less than pleased when his well-organized ground strikes all miss and girds his loins as the troops head forward for the assault on Tehran.Around this time, we realise we got the Sudetenland demand wrong as the Germans didn’t have the production multiple. We will unravel this presently. More Chin[...]

Session: Hands in the Sea:: Short Session Report

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:46:50 +0000

by Steve Carey

Rome: David S.
Carthage: Steve C.

Carthage started the game by expanding in Corsica/Sardinia and also by pillaging with its starting fleet of 2 warships. Rome began building up its military strength (eventually having all four legions) and expanding in Sicily (captured Syracuse on its 1st turn).

Rome's military might defeated Carthage in subsequent land campaigns (the main battle areas were Thermae on the northern coast of Sicily and Arigentum on the southern coast of Sicily), but the Carthaginians dominated the sea. However, Rome managed to rebuild her entire fleet, and with the 'Greek Allies' strategy card they posed quite a threat. The gods favored Carthage however as half the Roman fleet was sunk by 'Storms at Sea'. The Carthaginian navy then took care of the other half of Rome's fleet, so the seas were blue.

Pillaging gave Carthage the VP advantage, which proved crucial (see end game score). This helped save Carthage during dire times as they were stealing 4 Roman silver per success and also discarding a card from the enemy's hand (effect of the 'Pillaging' strategy card).

Prestige ended at 6 for both sides.

Both sides had 7 developed cities.

Carthage had a 1 VP advantage in captured towns, mostly via cavalry Raids (both sides maxed out their cavalry units).

Both sides thinned their decks at a steady pace. Rome made very good use of the 'Administration' strategy card.

Neither side Bribed in the game (Carthage had more vulnerable mercenary units).

In one key land battle, a Mercenary General (cost 8 Silver) saved Carthage from a humiliating defeat (2 free swords) before he auto-returned to the Empire deck.

Neither North Africa or Italy proper were invaded. Carthage had a late sneak invasion planned from Aleria, but Rome fortified Cosa (adjacent to Rome) to deter that threat.

The war ended after 12 turns, Carthage 90 VP and Rome 89 VP. The tide shifted back and forth several times, with the contest being tense throughout. Rome dominated Sicily, but Carthage had all of Corsica/Sardinia.

One helluva session, and a great game!

Session: SiXeS:: Sixes with six!

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:55:55 +0000

by Bohner68

At a local meetup I had the opportunity to play Sixes with six. Sixes is a very fun little game and if you have the right crowd they will ask to play again and again.

Sixes is a card party game that is played over 6 rounds. At the begging of each round you draw a card from the given deck that gives you a category for the round. In the first and fourth round you are trying to match your six answers the other members of your group. The second and fifth round you are looking for six unique answers from the other members of your group. The third and sixth are a lightning round where you have six different categories and are trying to match the other members of the group. At the end of each round you score one point for each answer (up to 6)that is either matching or unique, depending on the round, and if you get all six answers you get a bonus point. Quite simple to learn and we up and playing in about 5 minutes. We played this for about an hour over 3 games.

The players involved were Missy, Brittney, Kaylyn, Mike, Micah and Doug. Age ranges from 13 to 50 (and it worked for everyone). In the first game It was Mike 25, Brittney 22, Micah 19, Missy and Doug both 16 and Kaylyn 10. Followed by the second game where Kaylyn comes back to first place with 26, Mike with 24, Micah and Doug with 19 and Brittney and Missy with 18. The third game ended in a 3 way tie for first between Brittney, Micah and Doug at 22, Mike and Kaylyn at 20 and Missy at 19. Very close games and a great time was had by all. If time would have allowed they wanted to play again. I can see this getting to the table very soon. If you haven't tried this yet, it is a great family game that nearly all members can enjoy.

Session: Elder Sign:: The Tragedy of Michael McGlen's First Date

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:55:46 +0000

by Brettpfosten * * *This playthrough of Elder Sign is based on our house rule:Whenever a player cannot make up a continuous story that explainsthe reasons behind the actions of their character, they immediately loose one Sanity Token. These are the stories of theElder Sign* * *The Tragedy of Michael McGlen's First DateMost people know Michael McGlen as a grumpy face that stares at them over the barrel of a rusty Thompson machine gun, usually snarling threats or demanding money. Today, however, McGlen faces quite a different challenge from sassy bystanders: a challenge of love. You see, poor McGlen fell for Marie Lambeau, a beautiful showgirl who is twice as smart as him but also three hearts more fragile.To prove to Marie that he, McGlen, is truly a man of considerable sophistication, he shall take her on a date at Arkham Museum. Little do either of them know that Hastur, the King in Yellow himself has chosen the same night to awaken from his deep slumber..8:00pmKate Winthrop is sitting in her office and worries. Dark Omens speak of this very night and an ancient evil that stirs in its sleep. However, Kate acquired the Necronomicon some time ago and begins to make headway in her search for answers.While Kate is buried in her books, Marie and McGlen arrive at Arkham Museum. Together they walk the halls and stop at a strange painting. Marie loves it and immediately claims it is, in fact, a Door to Another World. McGlen is in love and so doesn't mind his sweetheart to be slightly off the rails and is quick to agree with her. While Marie marvels at the piece, McGlen marvels at her, and together they stay by the painting, lost in the world of dorky couples -- until strange ripples run over the painting and start to reach out for poor Marie!McGlen is furious. No one steals his girl! He pushes Marie out of harm's way, turns around, and immediately stomps towards the Museum Administration to complain about the way the exhibits are treating his sweetheart.Meanwhile, in the cellar, Sister Mary looks for a spot In the Crates of the archives. She sometimes helps out at Arkham Museum to see what all those scientists and other charlatans are up to. She carries a small Obsidian Statue that she's been asked to stash it down here, when suddenly, the ugly little thing begins to writhe about in her small hands! Aghast, she throws it to the floor; with an angry hiss the thing knocks its head on the stone, turns back to Sister Mary, and starts attacking her ankles. Luckily Mary brought her trusty Shotgun, and she sends the creature straight to Jesus, where hopefully it will find forgiveness.9:00pmUnaware of the drama unfolding on the floor beneath her, Kate Winthrop discovers the dark omens of tonight to be part of an Ancient Curse. As an accomplished scientist, Kate uses the clues she gathered so far to promptly lift the curse. No one has time for this!While McGlen is off to yell at the staff of Arkham Museum, poor Marie watches in horror as a Color out of Space spills out of the cursed painting and envelopes her - what a cruel Caprice of Fate! This date is not at all what she imagined it to be -- and it is at this point that she starts to compose the speech she is going to give McGlen when he returns.McGl[...]

Session: Next War: India-Pakistan:: Border War - Turn 9

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:54:48 +0000

by wheelsboy The Indians have taken the lead and will get an initiative turn to try to keep the counter-attack going strong...Border War Turn 9Weather PhaseDie roll of 9 means the storms will continue. I've never played a Next War game with weather this bad, although here I think it actually helps the weaker side in the air since combats are less deadly.Initiative PhaseROI got 10VP on the last turn, which was contested, so they get an initiative turn. They were the 2nd player last turn, so this is one of those rare times a player can get a "double move" with consecutive move/attack cycles.Electronic DetectIndians roll well and get 2 HQs detected. Paks don't get any.1st SOFIndians are down to just 2 teams. They do two high risk interdiction raids in the mountains, hoping to cut off supplies to the Pakistani and Chinese troops trying to break into the valley. One team fails and is eliminated, but the other one scores a big "2 Interdiction" on the critical road on the south side of the valley, which will block Chinese supplies for two turns.Air PhaseIndians throw in the kitchen sink in an attempt to get back some control of the air that will allow the Russians in Kashmir to get supplies in via airborne supply. 8 Indian units go in the box. The Paks and Chinese took a lot of abort results last turn and a lot of the Pakistan units can't fly in the storms, so they can only put 5 squadrons in.Results are almost bloodless due to the weather mods. Indians do send home one Chinese squadron on an abort result. The Chinese return the favor sending 2 Indian units to Abort. Final count is India/Russia 6 to Pakistan/China 4. The 3:2 ratio is just enough for Indian "Advantage". AWACS down 1 to +3 Pakistan/China.2nd SOFChinese and Pakistani SOF teams have all been wiped out.1st StrikeBoth sides have just one missile point and aim them at enemy airbases. The Indian missile hits home with an "X" result for +2VP, and take out a Pakistani squadron with the collateral roll for another +2VP. Pakistani missile misses. Later, both sides trade artillery (HQ) barrages, with the Pakistanis scoring a couple hits on the stubborn defenders of Sunderbani in the Jammu highlands, and the Indians hit the two Pakistani divisions holding onto Trikuta Nagar (adjacent to the city of Jammu).1st SupplyI continue to test the limits of the "Out of Supply" counter mix due to the bad weather and the terrain in Kashmir. The Indian SOF raid that interdicted the main road into the valley puts the two lead Chinese brigades trying to take Baramulla out of supply. With air superiority, the Russians are finally able to supply one airborne division in Kashmir through the airbase at Srinagar.Initiative Moves/CombatsThe Indian counter-attack on the left flank continues to smash the out of supply Pakistani defenders. However, bad dice reduce the effect of three attacks by the Indian XII and XXI corps, but they still cause 3 step losses while only taking one in return.The Indians do better in the center sector of the front and up in Kashmir. They attack Trikuta Nagar (3315) heavily, with two HQs and an artillery brigade supporting the infantry/armor assault. They can only get to a 7 column attack,[...]

Session: The Scheldt Campaign:: The Scheldt Campaign Solo AAR Turns 9-13

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:28:37 +0000

by fatgreta T9G1 to bring in 52nd at ArnhemG4 to strat move 52nd to ZundertG3 to move 3rd Canadian to SluisG3, G2, G4 for 49th British XX to attack 711th XX⁃Germans play G2, lose die roll and don't play G4⁃Germans 4 hits/12 dice⁃British 8 hits/25 dice (-2 woods)⁃Germans retreat 2 hexes to Breda, take 4 hits⁃Advance G3 for 49th to attack scratch battalion in 3004⁃Germans play G4, win die roll to play G3 and bring 719th into fight ⁃Germans 4 hits/11 dice⁃Allies 6 hits/18 dice (-2 woods)⁃Germans take 2 hits, retreat to 3102⁃No advance Take 3-G1, 3-G3, G4German turnG1 to recover hits in 59thTake G1, lose die roll and take G3, 2-G4T10G1 to shuffle units between 3rd & 4th Canadian2xG1 to recover hits from 49th XXG3 to move 4th Canadian to CadzandG3, G4 4th Canadian attacks 344th⁃Germans play G2, G4⁃Germans 3 hits/14 dice⁃Canadians 12 hits/17 dice (Oh, Canada!), -2 polder⁃Germans retreat 3 to 0208⁃AdvanceG3 4th attacks Knokke-Zur⁃Germans 0 hits/1 dice⁃Canadians 7 hits/13 dice, -3 fort & village, eliminated⁃No advance Take 2-G1, 2-G2, 3-G3German turnG4 to strat move 1038 Brigade Eede to Breskens  Hoping to salvage at least some combat power from the Beskens pocket.Take 2-G1, G3, G4T11G1 bring 104th US XX in at AntwerpG1 to recover hits in 49th XXG3 to move 52nd XX northeast of RosedaleG3, G2 to attack Rosedale⁃Germans no markers to play⁃British 10 hits/18 dice, -3 city⁃Germans eliminate 2 units, roll 3 hits/10 diceG3, G2 for same attack⁃British 7 hits/15 dice⁃Germans 0 hits/5 dice Take G2, 3-G3, 3-G4German turnG1 to recover hits in 344th, x2G3 move 344th to 0207G4 move 1038th brigade across the Scheldt to Vlissingen Take G1, G2, 2-G4T12British 51st withdrawn, leaving behind 3 tactical units.G4 x 2 to move 2nd Canadian and 104th US XX's G3, G2,G4 for 52nd XX to attack Rosendaal⁃Germans play G2⁃Germans 1 hit/5 dice⁃British 9 hits/19 dice, -3 city⁃Entire Division and HQ wiped out ⁃AdvanceG3 move 3rd Canadian to BreskensG3 move amphibious unit to 1203 Take G1, G2, 2-G3, 3-G4German turnG1 recover hits 344thG4 strat move 1039 Brigade adjacent 344th No use for remaining G4Take G1, G2, G3, G4T13G1 to add tactical units left behind by 51st to 2nd CanadianG4 to strat move 104th to 1402G3 to move 2nd Canadian to 1203 (West of Goes)G3, G4 2nd Canadian attacks 667th AG brigade⁃Germans win roll NOT to play G2⁃Germans 0hits/2 dice⁃Canadians 10 hits/19 dice, elongated⁃No advance G3, G2, G4 4th Canadian attack 344th &!Coastal Artillery in 0207⁃Germans play G2, G3 to add 1039th Brigade⁃Germans 4 hits/10 dice⁃Canadians 8 hits/13 dice, -4 fort, flooded Take 2-G1, 3-G3, 2-G-4German turnG1 recovery in 59th XXNo play for G4Take 3-G1, win die roll to take G4 instead of G2PLAYER'S THOUGHTS:1 - I badly mis-used the 51st. If that Division is on the board costing 1/2 VP per turn, it should be fighting ever turn, letting itself get worn down to the bone. If it becomes combat ineffective sooner than turn 12, withdraw it and save VP. If it's still got the capacity to absorb hits without losing units, keep fighting it.Overall I don't think I like that optional rule (or I [...]